Wednesday 29 April 2009


The day started off alright. It is always uplifting to look out to the woods and watch the trees getting greener by the day nearly.
Today Mike arranged to hire a shredder so he could reduce the volume of the compost heaps. A simple task one would think. Well there was one problem after another and having taken the shredder back for repair and then another trip because the extension lead wasn't right, he finally managed to get it working by lunch time only to go off to work, I was expecting him to have the day off, silly me.
So I decided to have a go. I didn't make much impact before stopping for lunch although I'd been going for an hour. When I returned the ---thing wouldn't stay running but kept cutting out.
In my endeavours to get it going I stood on the plug and broke it so that was that, I wasn't going to risk any more damage.
I then decided to take it out on the ground elder which has really taken over in the front garden. It makes me want to weep it is so bad, the only consolation being the fact I can actually get down to do it once more and the lovely perfume from the Wisteria.
The last disaster for the day was Beth's doing.
We returned from our walk with her in proud possession of a ball she had found. We have a cupboard full, she doesn't get to keep them long and this is one reason why.
I sat down for a cup of tea and was enjoying looking at Francis blog The Fairegarden, her photography is stunning. I turned to see Beth soaking wet and covered in mud rolling on the carpet! What a mess. She had come in with wet feet all over the kitchen floor and all on the carpet.
I feared the worst and yes she had been pursuing her favourite past time of dunking her ball in the hip bath and going in feet first to try and get it out which of course she rarely manages. Instead she dug out my new water lily which was only planted a week ago. She had knocked over pots of lilies and hostas in her eagerness to get to the ball.
So all in all not the best of days, but Mike did get the shredder going and we did a bit more late afternoon and well tomorrow's another day.
Hear she is after she'd dried off a bit on my carpet!

Tuesday 28 April 2009


What a surprise to be awarded the Renee Award! I have only been around on Blotanical for a month but have already met some lovely people and seen some amazing photography not to mention gardens.

It is one of the most meaningful awards in blog world because it honors someone who is incredibly inspirational in her intelligent and witty writing. And by doing so, this award celebrates women's smart, strong and inspirational spirit! It honors women who spread joy and love like an Acorn......a small package growing into a tall and sturdy oak tree which gives more acorns.............. I am so honored to receive this award from my dear bloggy friend

Cherry at Cherry's in the garden.

Part of my aim with my blog is to raise awareness of Lyme Disease caused by a tick bite which can lead to many devastating symptoms, but can be avoided with a few weeks of antibiotics taken at the time of the bite. How many of us gardeners are aware of this? Certainly I was not.

For information please look at the links on the right of my blog. After 6 years of painful debilitating arthritis and now nearly 100% recovered I make no apologise for alluding to it now and then in my posts and by doing so hopefully help to prevent someone else going through such an illness that can so easily be cured if caught early.

As some of you may well have gathered IT is not my best skill so I had to have a nights sleep and a clear brain to figure out how to copy and paste into my blog to pass on the Renee Award.

There has also been much consideration to decide who to pass it on too. So, so many lovely blogs I am following thank you and it is not just women who are doing such interesting blogs.

So my choice of 5 will be

Pauline Roses at Wedgewood House and Gardens

Cindy Rosehaven Cottage

Catherine A Gardener in progress

Anna Green Tapestry

Maureen Allotment Heaven

I hope you all enjoy your awards and find five more deserving people each to pass on the award to.

Thank you Cherry I am honoured.

Sunday 26 April 2009


The Wisteria is coming along nicely.

Mike trains it along the gutters which makes a good framework and stops it getting under the tiles.

Such a pity computers can't transmit perfume.

Below the Wisteria is a Banksiae Banksiae rose grown from a cutting taken from the one on the back of the house see following photos.

This gives some indication as to how prolific Banksiae Banksiae is. But it is delightful foliage which keeps a little during the winter. It is also on a SSW facing wall which gets incredibly hot in Summer and too much so for many roses.

The roses of Banksiae Banksiae are really delightful. Sadly with all the pruning we do not get as many as I'd like perhaps I need to find a better way of pruning to produce more flowers.

Just a small job today was tying the Jasmin and Prince Charles Clematis onto the new arch I was struck by the intense blue of the sky contrasting with the Jasmin foliage.

Saturday 25 April 2009


I had to show the lovely Cow Parsley it is so ethereal to walk through the woods at this time of year, although my photography does not do it justice.

The Cow Parsley is not as tall as some years, I suspect due to a rather dry spell we have had these last few weeks.

Friday 24 April 2009


The last few days I have had to remove an old Broom. I had to cut the few flowers that struggled through to have indoors. I had forgotten how pungent the smell was.
The Broom was not in the best place since we gave up the allotment and redesigned the garden many years ago to accommodate the vegetables.
I had chance to dig up yet more Bindweed and trim the hedge being careful to look out for the Clematis Viticella Vernosa Violacea and Viticella Blue Belle.
Hopefully now the Roses especially Francis E. Lester will benefit from a bit more sun.
If my above links work it is thanks to Veg Plotting who kindly sent advice on how to do the links.


Wednesday 22 April 2009


I showed a photograph of my Wisteria in my last post and it did not look so good, when I next picked up my camera I realised part of the problem was I'd left it set on portrait so here's a better shot obviously still not quite in full bloom but anticipation is a good part of the joy of gardening.

Monday 20 April 2009


At last the long anticipated blossom on the Cherry tree is in flower isn't it delightful?

I have been busy trying to sort out how Blotanical works it is fairly simple if you bother to listen to the short tutorial but I joined and was so busy looking at all the lovely blogs that I didn't bother to find out the mechanics. So I apologise to anyone I overlooked replying to.

To any garden bloggers it is a very interesting site to use and there is a link from my side bar.

The other thing I have been busy with over the last few days is my brick path. On one of my posts it was clearly noticeable that I had not weeded the path amongst many other places. So I set to, to weed. This is quite a feat for me with my Lyme legs as I have not been able to kneel even on a soft bed for 4 years so even now I can only kneel on a kneeler for max of 5 mins and most of it I have to stand and bend not so good on backs or legs.

Right so that was the weeding. I have long since given up on the idea of help from Mike because he does not consider the path a problem. It was laid 30 years ago with bricks that were in the garden and found there and about. Some engineering and some house bricks. The house bricks have started to disintegrate from the weather as was to be expected and we could do with replacing but always on a budget that's another thing on the list to do.

After the weed I decided to scrape out the old soil and fill the gaps with sand, builders in the hope that the chemicals will stop the weeds even more so, but I had not realised how yellow builders sand is so the path now looks like the 'Yellow Brick Road' hopefully it will tone down in time and when I need to top dress after the rain has settled the sand I may find a kinder colour of sand to use.

For a change from bending down I decided to walk round the garden, of course you can't go far without finding another major challenge and this was the Bindweed. I always find the sight of it so depressing and although I have already pulled out lots there were arms full left to deal with and that was less than half of what I need to do. About 20 years ago I noticed and admired my first Columbine flowering in a peach tree that has long since died and a Viburnum Burkwoodii at the bottom of the garden in the opposite corner, little did I know what a menace they would become. Well they haven't quite met yet but the whole of one side has now got Bindweed along the whole length of the wall so not something that can be pulled out by the roots so as the head gardener at Lamorna in St Mawes Cornwall, does, I pull out what I can when I can and try to keep it out of the clematis which is a real battle.

I won't bore you with a photo of Bindweed but thought I'd show a far more interesting climber that is showing it's potential already.

Wednesday 15 April 2009


Mike is mainly responsible for the
vegetable growing so I thought I'd
post some photos
taken a few days ago.

It's difficult to tell from the photographs but there are peas, carrots, parsnips, beetroot and the obvious Broad Beans.

Oninons and Rasperries

Finally new strawberry plants.

Monday 13 April 2009


Just a few more signs of spring growth.
The anticipation of this large flowering Cherry! Planted rather near the back door it is pruned hard each autumn but still flowers well.
The smaller Prunus Persica is a delightful small tree.

Below signs of life on my Robinia which was looking very sick last year and has lots of dead branches so fingers crossed.

There are plenty shoots on my Gleditsia trees.

The Delphinium are coming along nicely, some from previous years plus some new plants grown from seed last year.

The astilbees are doing ok mixed in with low growing asparagus fern.

The Choisya lost some branches I think during the snow, but there are flower buds and I am sure it will pick up.


In order to make room in the greenhouse I had to move various pots around.
I am hoping the small standard Bay trees will do
better in the front with perhaps not quite so much sun on them.

Similarly I decided to cluster the other pots of Bay and Box together either side of the garage door.

A tidy up by the wall was useful as there were lots of slugs and snails hiding under the leaf litter waiting to help themselves to my Hostas.
I threw the snails into the road then either the birds can eat them or the cars will squash them hopefully before they can get back into the garden.

The little twig in the foreground is a Ginka Tree. I did manage to germinate one from seed but then killed it by letting it get too damp, so eventually treated myself to a seedling from Hampton Court Flower Show a couple of years ago. It is exciting to see the new growth again.

The Hostas are coming along well after all the rain and now sun.


This morning I decided I wanted to sort out my seeds moving them from lean to, to greenhouse but as always there is so much to re organise to make room.

These are Ailsa Craig tomato plants

The Dahlias have spent winter in the dark in the garage but are beginning to shoot so have been moved into the greenhouse prior to re potting. They are no name as they were grown from seed some years ago.

Tomato plants now in the cold greenhouse, I hope we don't get a hard frost.

The sweet peas and perennial peas have been relegated to the cold frame stand and the old strawberry plants moved to the cold frames with a few other odds and ends.

Jobs In The Garden

A few days ago I weeded the front of this spring border which was full of buttercups. I had potted on various seedlings Alchemilla Mollis, Primroses, Cow slips and Denticularta Primula and Adjuga so I was able to plant up the empty space with a variety of these home produced seedlings. After the rain they are coming along well.

Mike has been busy making me arches. The poles he cuts from where he works and then he bends them round a forma of pegs in the grass.

This is the one at the bottom of the garden nearly finished. I am waiting for the go ahead to plant my sweet peas to grow up it.

Either side of the arch is a Gleditsia tree. They are still very young.

Yes the arches are rather rustic but then that suits our style of gardening.